Israel Hosts Protests Against Netanyahu’s Judicial Reform For Fifth Consecutive Week

Tens of thousands of Israelis have returned to the streets this Saturday to demonstrate for the fifth consecutive week against the reform of the judicial system presented by the Government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As has been the case for the past month, the streets of Tel Aviv have hosted the main protests but other smaller gatherings have also taken place in the cities of Jerusalem and Haifa.

"We will fight here in the streets, we will fight in the Knesset, we will fight in the courts, we will save our country, because we refuse to live in a non-democratic country."has admitted the leader of the opposition Yair Lapid in statements collected by ‘The Times of Israel’.

For his part, the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, also present at the march, stated that "if the words end, the actions will begin". "We will not stop in public squares, we will not be indifferent, we will not react with acceptance"Huldai added.

In Tel Aviv the protests began with chants and speeches to proceed to the weekly march towards Paris Square and, although the number of attendees has been lower compared to the past weeks, inclement weather did not interrupt the protests.

According to figures collected by the newspaper ‘Haaretz’, around 40,000 people attended the rallies, reaching more than 60,000 throughout the country. Two weeks ago about 100,000 gathered throughout the territory.

The Israelis protest against the reforms presented by the Minister of Justice, Yariv Levin, which seek to grant greater political control over the judiciary.

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In this sense, the Executive would have full control over the appointment of judges, including those of the Supreme Court; restrict the ability of courts to strike down laws and allow the government to re-legislate laws that have already been struck down with only 61 of the 120 Knesset deputies. OCHA also includes the launch of several rockets from the Gaza Strip on January 25 and 26, events that it attributes to Palestinian armed groups.

The rockets were intercepted or hit uninhabited areas. Israel in retaliation launched airstrikes against several alleged installations of the armed groups, although no one was injured.

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